The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) officially announced on Wednesday that it has restarted the Port Harcourt refinery, even as the refinery now produces up to five million litres of petrol daily since it came back on stream last week.
In a bid to put a final end to fuel shortages in the country, the Port Harcourt Refinery, which was shut down some months back, was re-opened, a spokesman for state oil firm NNPC said.
“It is not in full capacity. Production is between three and five million litres daily,” the Group General Manager, Public Affairs of the NNPC, Garuba Deen Muhammad said.
The announcement was made during a monitoring exercise of petrol distribution and sales at filling stations within Abuja and its environs.
The spokesperson said: “Port Harcourt has been refining for quite a while now, from last week, between three and five million litres. We expect Kaduna refinery to begin any time soon and we also have vessels discharging fuel and so, all these combined measures will bring down the situation.”
“When you have this kind of situation, people will naturally get agitated but people are getting calm now because they know the supply gap has now been bridged, and it is a question of distribution now. They are all patient and that was what happened in Lagos. The situation has virtually normalised in Lagos because the motorists cooperated.
“Still, there are some hitches here and there but improvement is what we are counting on and it is what we should be expecting.
“People always take advantage of situations and now we hear taxi drivers now take advantage of the situation and find it more profitable to join queues and round trip to sell to black market operators than doing their business. We will need to devise means of stopping people from diverting and round tripping.”
The corporation also added that it expects its other refinery located in Kaduna to come back on stream next week.